Q: Do I have any legal recourse? My school publicized my personal and academic Information, SSN, photos, etc
My social security number, address, photos, transcripts, academic rank and deans letter we’re all accidentally made public through my school’s shared folders. I found out via a current student, and later received an apology from the Dean, as well as an assertion that the problem was fixed. However, I am now a physician out of state, and must take time away from my clinical duties to deal with this and worry about identity theft. The school has not told me how the breach happened or if they know who accessed my personal information. What legal recourse, if any, might I have in this situation?
A: I am sorry to learn of your situation. It seems to me the basic federal law for you to seek remedy is FERPA which you can find here, https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/students.html. There's also a mechanism for filing complaints here, https://studentprivacy.ed.gov/file-a-complaint.
I have represented students at all levels of higher ed for a while now and I wish I could help you because this does seem like a situation where there is, as part of your solution, a need for the school to pay for your expenses in, for example at the very least, re-configuring the data that now makes your identity public.
In addition, it seems you're not the only victim. You really should lawyer-up for approaching the school with that. They will likely not take you seriously otherwise.
Jauregui Law Firm
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